Yeddyurappa spares gods, opts for legal battles

Yeddyurappa spares gods, opts for legal battles

Yeddyurappa spares gods, opts for legal battles

“I will not go for ‘aane-pramana’ (swear in the name of god) at Dharmasthala on June 27 as I have been advised against it by our party president Nitin Gadkari and also by several religious leaders,” Yeddyurappa told reporters in this north Karnataka town, about 400 km from Bangalore.

“I will file defamation case against (Janata Dal-Secular leader H. D) Kumaraswamy and (Congress leader) Siddaramaiah for their baseless allegations against me and my family,” the Bharatiya Janata Party's first chief minister in southern India said.

Yeddyurappa had little option but to drop his plan to swear in the name of Lord Manjunatha, the presiding deity of temple at Dharmasthala, about 300 km from Bangalore, after Gadkari told him Friday to desist invoking gods or involving religious places to fight political battles.

The chief minister planned the swearing in the name of god to prove his innocence following Kumaraswamy’s claim that Yeddyurappa had “offered money if I refrained from releasing more documents on corruption by him and his family”.

Siddaramaiah, Leader of Opposition in the assembly, has claimed that Yeddyurappa and his family have floated several companies and trusts after he came to power and evaded tax of around Rs.360 crore.

The Congress leader reiterated his claim in Bangalore Saturday and dared Yeddyurappa to file a case.

“Claims of both Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah are false. Legal notice will be sent to both in a few days,” Yeddyurappa said.

He said he will go to Dharmasthala on June 27 along with several ministers and party law makers to offer prayers.

Though Yeddyurappa has given up the plan to swear before the deity, Kumaraswamy has said he will go ahead as otherwise he will be accused of running away from the test.

“I will go ahead as I have accepted Yeddyurappa’s challenge,” Kumaraswamy told reporters late Friday after it became clear Gadkari had nixed the chief minister’s plan, which had drawn widespread ridicule and criticism in the state.

Kumaraswamy’s contention is that Yeddyurappa through an emissary,  state BJP treasurer and law maker Lehar Singh Siroya, had been trying for over five months to “buy my silence”.

Siroya has denied he tried to broker a deal but said he had met Kumaraswamy on a courtesy call.